Description: The purpose of this assignment is to learn more about who you are and how you fit into and relate to your own culture. In this assignment, you will explore your own culture and identities and how they influence your communication. You will address your identities and cultural background, how they have influenced you and your communication, and how they may influence your life in the future. Include relevant examples from your life that demonstrate how your culture and identity have shaped your life. Consider the influence of factors such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, and geographic location. Use at least two sources for this assignment. The focus of your writing should be demonstrating your learning and reflection using your experience and the connection to the course concepts.You may write your responses in an essay format or copy the sections below. Use APA formatting for this assignment.
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My Culture: Im a Mexican male that lives in Colorado. For the rest of the information you can research or make up.There are objective modifiers — “blue” “old” “single-handedly” “statistically” “domestic” — for which the meaning can be verified. On the other hand, there are subjective modifiers — “suspicious,” “dangerous,” “extreme,” “dismissively,” “apparently” — which are a matter of interpretation. Interpretation can present the same events as two very different incidents. A political protest in some people sat down in the middle of a street blocking traffic to draw attention to their cause can be described as “peaceful” and “productive,” or, others may describe it as “aggressive” and “disruptive.” Words that signal subjective statements include: Good/better/best Bad/worse/worst Is considered to be It’s likely that Seemingly Dangerous Extreme Suggests May mean that Would seem Could Possibly Apparently Source: Butte College Critical Thinking Tipsheet AllSides, 2022 | 7 An objective statement, on the other hand, is an observation of observable facts. It is not based on emotions or personal opinion and is based on empirical evidence — what is quantifiable and measurable. It’s important to note that an objective statement may not actually be true. The following statements are objective statements, but can be verified as true or false: Taipei 101 is the world’s tallest building. Five plus four equals ten. There are nine planets in our solar system. Now, the first statement of fact is true (as of this writing); the other two are false. It is possible to verify the height of buildings and determine that Taipei 101 tops them all. It is possible to devise an experiment to demonstrate that five plus four does not equal ten or to use established criteria to determine whether Pluto is a planet. Source: Butte College Critical Thinking Tipsheet Editorial reviews by AllSides found that some media outlets blur the line between subjective statements and objective statements, leading to potential confusion for readers, in two key ways: ● Including subjective statements in their writing and not attributing them to a source. (see Omission of Source Attribution, page 16) ● Placing opinion or editorial content on the homepage next to hard news, or otherwise not clearly marking opinion content as “opinion.” Examples of Opinion Statements Presented as Fact AllSides, 2022 | 8 The sub-headline Vox uses is an opinion statement — some people likely believe the lifting of the gas limit will strengthen the coal industry — but Vox included this statement in a piece not labeled “Opinion.” Source: Vox In this article about Hillary Clinton’s appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” the author makes an assumption about Clinton’s motives and jumps to a subjective conclusion. Source: Fox News 4. Sensationalism/Emotionalism Sensationalism is the presentation of information in a way that gives a shock or makes a deep impression. Often it gives readers a false sense of culmination, that all previous reporting has led to this ultimate story. Sensationalist language is often dramatic, yet vague. It often involves hyperbole — at the expense of accuracy — or warping reality to mislead or provoke a strong reaction in the reader. In recent years, some media outlets have been criticised for overusing the term “breaking” or “breaking news,” which historically was reserved for stories of deep impact or wide-scale importance. AllSides, 2022 | 9 Many reporters increase the readability of their pieces using vivid verbs. But there are many verbs that are heavy with implications that can’t be objectively corroborated: “blast” “slam” “bury” “abuse” “destroy” “worry.” Words and phrases that signal sensationalism/emotionalism include: Shocking Explosive Remarkable Slams Rips Forcing Chaotic Warning Lashed out Embroiled in… Onslaught Torrent of tweets Scathing Desperate Showdown Examples of Sensationalism/Emotionalism Media Bias “Gawk” means to stare open and stupidly. Does AP’s language treat this event as serious and diplomatic, or as entertainment? Source: AP AllSides, 2022 | 10 Here, BBC uses sensationalism in the form of hyperbole, as the election is unlikely to involve bloodshed in the literal sense. Source: BBC In this piece from the New York Post, the author uses multiple sensationalist phrases and emotional language to dramatize the “Twitter battle” it is describing. Source: New York Post 5. Mudslinging/Ad Hominem Mudslinging is a type of media bias when unfair or insulting things are said about someone in order to damage their reputation. Similarly, ad hominem (Latin for “to the person”) attacks are attacks on a person’s motive or character traits instead of the content of their argument or idea. Ad hominem attacks can be used overtly, or as a way to subtly discredit someone without having to engage with their argument. AllSides, 2022 | 11 Examples of Mudslinging A Reason editor calls a New York Times columnist a “snowflake” after the columnist emailed a professor and his provost to complain about a tweet calling him a bedbug. Source: Reason In March 2019, The Economist ran a piece describing political commentator and author Ben Shapiro as “alt-right.” Readers pointed out that Shapiro is Jewish (the alt-right is largely anti-Semitic) and has condemned the alt-right. The Economist issued a retraction and instead AllSides, 2022 | 12 referred to Shapiro as a “radical conservative.” Source: Twitter 6. Mind Reading Mind reading occurs in journalism when a writer assumes they know what another person thinks, or thinks that the way they see the world reflects the way the world really is. Examples of Mind Reading We can’t objectively measure that Trump hates looking foolish, because we can’t read his mind or know what he is feeling. There is also no evidence provided to demonstrate that Democrats believe they have a winning hand. Source: CNN AllSides, 2022 | 13 How do we know that Obama doesn’t have passion or sense of purpose? Here, the National Review writer assumes they know what is going on in Obama’s head. Source: National Review Vox is upfront about the fact that they are interpreting what Neeson said, yet this interpretation ran in a piece labeled objective news — not a piece in the Opinion section. Despite being overt about interpreting, by drifting away from what Neeson actually said, Vox is mind reading. Source: Vox 7. Slant Slant occurs when journalists tell only part of a story. It can include cherry-picking information or data to support one side. Slant prevents readers from getting the full story, and narrows the scope of our understanding. Examples of Slant AllSides, 2022 | 14 In the above example, Fox News notes that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s policy proposals have received “intense criticism.” While this is true, it is only one side of the picture, as the Green New Deal was well received by other groups. Source: Fox News 8. Flawed Logic Flawed logic or faulty reasoning is a way to misrepresent people’s opinions or to arrive at conclusions that are not justified by the given evidence. Flawed logic can involve jumping to conclusions or arriving at a conclusion that doesn’t follow from the premise. Examples of Flawed Logic Here, the Daily Wire interprets a video to draw conclusions that aren’t clearly supported by the available evidence. The video shows Melania did not extend her hand to shake, but it could be because Clinton was too far away to reach, or perhaps there was no particular reason at all. By jumping to conclusions that this amounted to a “snub” or was the result of “bitterness” instead of limitations of physical reality or some other reason, The Daily Wire is engaging in flawed logic. Source: The Daily Wire AllSides, 2022 | 15 9. Bias by Omission Bias by omission is a type of media bias in which media outlets choose not to cover certain stories, omit information that would support an alternative viewpoint, or omit voices and perspectives on the other side. Media outlets sometimes omit stories in order to serve a political agenda. Sometimes, a story will only be covered by media outlets on a certain side of the political spectrum. Bias by omission also occurs when a reporter does not interview both sides of a story — for instance, interviewing only supporters of a bill, and not including perspectives against it. Examples of Bias by Omission In a piece titled, “Hate crimes are rising, regardless of Jussie Smollett’s case. Here’s why,” CNN claims that hate crime incidents rose for three years, but omits information that may lead the reader to different conclusions. According to the FBI’s website, reports of hate crime incidents rose from previous years, but so did the number of agencies reporting, “with approximately 1,000 additional agencies contributing information.” This makes it unclear as to whether hate crimes are actually on the rise, as the headline claims, or simply appear to be because more agencies are reporting. Source: CNN AllSides, 2022 | 16 10. Omission of Source Attribution An informative, balanced article should provide the background or context of a story, including naming sources (publishing “on-the-record” information). Sometimes, reporters will mention “immigration opponents” or “supporters of the bill” without identifying who these sources are. It is sometimes useful or necessary to use unnamed sources, because insider information is only available if the reporter agrees to keep their identity secret. But responsible journalists should be aware and make it clear that they are offering second-hand information on sensitive matters. This fact doesn’t necessarily make the statements false, but it does make them less than reliable. Examples of Omission of Source Attribution In this paragraph, the Epoch Times repeatedly states “critics say” without attributing the views to anyone specific. Source: The Epoch Times AllSides, 2022 | 17 In a piece about the Mueller investigation, The New York Times never names the investigators, officials or associates mentioned. Source: The New York Times 11. Bias by Story Choice and Placement Story and viewpoint placement can reveal media bias by showing which stories or viewpoints the editor finds most important. Bias by story choice This is when a media outlet’s bias is revealed by which stories the outlet chooses to cover or to omit. For example, an outlet that chooses to cover the topic of climate change frequently can reveal a different political leaning than an outlet that chooses to cover stories about gun laws. The implication is that the outlet’s editors and writers find certain topics more notable, meaningful, or important than others, which can tune us into the outlet’s political bias or partisan agenda. Bias by story choice is closely linked to media bias by omission and slant. Bias by story placement The stories that a media outlet features “above the fold” or prominently on its homepage and in print show which stories they really want you to read, even if you read nothing else on the site or in the publication. Many people will quickly scan a homepage or read only a headline, so the stories that are featured first can reveal what the editor hopes you take away or keep top of mind from that day. AllSides, 2022 | 18 Bias by viewpoint placement This can often be seen in political stories. A balanced piece of journalism will include perspectives from both the left and the right in equal measure. If a story only features viewpoints from left-leaning sources and commentators, or includes them near the top of the story/in the first few paragraphs, and does not include right-leaning viewpoints, or buries them at the end of a story, this is an example of bias by viewpoint. Examples of Bias by Story Choice and Placement In this screenshot of ThinkProgress’ homepage taken at 1 p.m. EST on Sept. 6, 2019, the media outlet chooses to prominently display coverage of LGBT issues and cuts to welfare and schools programs. In the next screenshot of The Epoch Times homepage taken at the same time on the same day, the outlet privileges very different stories. (Continued on next page) AllSides, 2022 | 19 Taken at the same time on
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